Entertainer Toni Braxton says for years she was filled with confusion and guilt following the 2006 diagnosis of her youngest son, Diezel Ky, 5 ½, with autism.
“You tend to blame yourself,” the singer admits in the Oct. 27 issue of People, adding that she tortured herself with the question: “Is there something I did wrong?”
The recent “Dancing With the Stars” contestant says it took some time and a lot of patience to accept her son’s condition.
“A lot of times, parents are in denial because they want to think their child is perfect,” says Braxton, 41. Over time, however, she was able to “come to terms” with the diagnosis and with the help of an applied behavioral analysis (ABA) specialist who works with Diezel both at home and at school, Toni’s family appears to have brighter days ahead.
“A friend of mine told me, ‘Toni, all these autistic kids in the world now, they are God’s new angels, and they are here to show us life differently.’ I’ve been embracing that,” she says. “He’s a wonderful kid.”